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Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Electrophysiology 

Bradford School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford

Salary: £33,242 to £37,394 per annum. 3 years, fixed term
Closing Date: Monday 06 October 2014
Interview Date: Wednesday 22 October 2014
Reference: RPM2226

A 3 year position for a post-doctoral researcher with expertise in neurobiology to take forward research using a range of electrophysiological techniques, in particular whole cell recordings and field recordings. The postholder will collaborate with several academic staff with interests in identification of therapeutic targets. A significant focus in the first year will be to work with newly appointed Reader in Pharmacology, Dr Sonia Correa, on a project to measure the activity of glutamatergic synapses in transgenic and virally transduced models.

The role will include design and carrying out experiments, data collection and analysis and producing high quality publications. You will have expertise in patch-clamping and recordings from cell cultures and/or tissue slices. You will have an excellent research potential as demonstrated by publications of international quality. You will have the research skills and experience to work independently. You will help the group develop ideas for future research studies and pursuing bids for future funding.

For further details and to apply go to:

Applications sent by email cannot be accepted.

PhD studentship in hERG potassium channel pharmacology and structure-function 

Schools of Biochemistry and of Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Bristol, UK

Pharmacological modulation of a potassium (K+) ion channel called hERG, which plays an important role in cardiac action potential repolarisation, is important both to the actions of some drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms (‘antiarrhythmics’) and to unwanted side effects of diverse non-cardiac drugs that can produce dangerous rhythm disturbances. Consequently, all new drugs must be tested for the ability to inhibit hERG. It is hoped that the combination of experimental data and computational drug-channel ‘docking’ will lead to models which can predict which new drugs will interact with hERG. However, the nature of the molecular interactions between drugs and hERG is incompletely understood. This project aims to improve understanding of how drugs interact with the hERG channel pore which is known to be the site of action of most hERG-blocking drugs. The project will utilize whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological recording from normal and mutant hERG channels, using drug analogues that can probe the kind of interactions leading to blockade. This will be combined with the refinement of models for hERG-drug interaction. The results of this study will help provide increased insight into how clinically used and developmental drugs interact with an important ion channel in the heart. The PhD student will join the research teams of Dr Chris Dempsey (Biochemistry) and Professor Jules Hancox (Physiology and Pharmacology) at the University of Bristol.

Candidate requirements: Candidates will be expected to have at least an upper-second (2.1) class degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline and candidates will be favoured who have an interest in learning electrophysiological, pharmacological and computational modelling methods for ion channel study.

Funding: This 3 year PhD studentship is funded by a non-clinical PhD studentship funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) with a standard stipend and dedicated funds available for experimental consumables. Funds are also available for tuition fees at 'home' (UK/EEA) rates. Note that BHF UK/EEA Residency requirements apply.

How to apply:Informal enquiries to: Dr Chris Dempsey or Professor Jules Hancox

To make an online application for this project, please go to Please select PhD 3 year studentship in the Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, School of Biochemistry on the Programme Choice page and enter details of the studentship when prompted in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form.

Closing date: 20 October 2014

PhD studentship in Pulmonary hypertension: Sex, drugs and ROCK and Rho 

PThis MRC funded programme provides students with cutting-edge research opportunities in medical research. Projects will align with MRC strategic priorities.

Project summary: This will bring together the Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit ( who are the only Scottish Clinical Centre for patients with Pulmonary Hypertension and the research group of Prof Mandy MacLean.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a disease of the pulmonary vasculature resulting in right heart failure and death. PAH occurs more frequently in females compared to males but the reasons for this are unclear. PASMCs normally exhibit low rates of proliferation, migration, and apoptosis to maintain a low resistance pulmonary circulation. However alterations in signalling pathways can lead to abnormal proliferation, apoptosis and migration. In human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (hPASMCs) the most important signalling pathway is the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2) pathway. A mutation in the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2) gene underpins heritable PAH (hPAH). MAP kinases also underpin proliferative responses in human pulmonary cells. We have recently identified basal differences in proliferative signalling between male and female hPASMCs. Compared with male hPASMCs, female cells have decreased BMPR2 signalling, increased pERK2, increased estrogen synthesis, increased estrogen metabolism, increased estrogen receptor alpha and increased proliferation to key mitogens including PDGF and serotonin.

This PhD will focus on unravelling the reasons behind these phenotypic differences in both hPASMCs and pulmonary fibroblasts and further investigation into the pERK/ROCK and Rho system which underpins serotonin-induced and oestrogen-induced proliferation in hPASMCs. We have characterised serotonin-dependent models of PH where only females develop PH and these will be studied to examine the effect of gender on these systems in vivo. For example the therapeutic effects of the ROCK inhibitor Fusadil will be studied in these models and in the sugen/hypoxic model (males and females). Pulmonary vs systemic differences will also be identified by comparing arterial SMCs derived from gluteal biopsies.

The student will learn in vivo skills such as in vivo (haemodynamic measurements, drug dosing and ovariectomy) in vitro and in situ expression studies, molecular biology and imaging. They will also be exposed to a clinical environment. Visit the website for more information.

General enquiries regarding the programme and application procedure should be directed to Alexis Merry.

Consultant in medicine and clinical toxicology, Edinburgh 

NHS Lothian is seeking to appoint a new consultant in medicine and clinical toxicology, based at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, with the potential for research links to the University. We are keen that a clinical pharmacologist is appointed to join our team. Existing consultant staff within the Unit include Professors Michael Eddleston, Simon Maxwell and David Webb (Head of Unit), and Drs James Dear, Hafid Narayan, Euan Sandilands and Arvindan Veiraiah. Interests within the Unit focus on biomarkers, cardiovascular and renal disease, clinical toxicology and prescribing skills (Prescribe and PSA). There are currently three trainees, and there has been a history of linking clinical pharmacology to specialties beyond internal medicine (such as clinical oncology, general practice, infectious disease and renal medicine). There is a strong academic presence within the Unit, which host MRC and Wellcome Trust translational medicine programmes. 

The closing date for applications is 30 September and interviews will be held on 21 October 2014.

We encourage anyone interested in applying to have an informal discussion with Professor Michael Eddleston (07910-106484) or David Webb (07770-966786).

MRC Integrative-Toxicology Training Partnership (ITTP)- Call for PhD Studentship Applications 

Five MRC ITTP 4-year studentships are available to start October 2015 funded by the MRC Toxicology Unit. Through partnerships between academia, industry and government the initiative seeks to build expertise in toxicology and related disciplines that is required to ensure the safe and effective development of drugs, chemicals and consumer products, and to provide better assessment of risk deriving from environmental exposure.

Applications should be submitted from potential academic supervisors with collaborative partners in industry, government agencies or other universities. Applicants are required to attend an Interactive meeting at the MRC Toxicology Unit, Leicester on the 22 September 2014 to discuss ideas. If unavailable a senior representative can attend. Potential research areas for discussion at the Interactive meeting are welcome in advance.

Research projects should meet the main aim of ITTP in achieving cross-fertilisation between toxicology and advances in other disciplines. The emphasis is on aligning modern cell and molecular biology with other fundamental and health-related disciplines to provide an integrative holistic approach in research and training relevant to predicting the toxicity of chemicals and drugs as well as to develop an understanding of the chemical, pharmacological and biological processes involved. The contributions of each partner should be clearly stated.

The proposed work should be feasible to be conducted by a PhD student and successfully submitted as a thesis within four years. A key feature of the initiative is its training programme which brings together aspects of established toxicology knowledge with other relevant sciences at an annual residential course.

Assessment criteria
Applications will be ranked ultimately by the ITTP Steering Committee. Decisions will be reached on the basis of scientific quality, feasibility, the integrative, multidisciplinary nature of proposed projects in line with the aims of ITTP and the likelihood of success. Key criteria for assessment will be:

• The novelty of the research proposal in the field of toxicology
• The relevance of the proposal in the light of present toxicological concerns for human health
• Proposals that span and use a variety of skills in in vivo and in vitro contexts
• The likelihood of the applicant providing the appropriate scientific environment and guidance to students.

How to apply
Application forms can be down loaded from the MRC Toxicology website, under the heading Integrated Toxicology Training Partnership  Enquiries, including registration for participation in the Interactive meeting, and completed application forms should be sent to Professor Andy Smith.

Deadline date
Deadline for the receipt of final applications will be 30 November 2014

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